Home » Counseling Corner Archives » Neglecting Sanctification

Neglecting Sanctification

Sanctification is the declarative act of God for those who have received Christ. It is a setting apart for consecration to the service of God. Those sanctified are set apart to be holy. They are no longer to live in sin and lawlessness. “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” (I John 3:4)  Paul the apostle writes to the Corinthian church to clear up any confusion about sin. Paul reiterates the truth they have been taught. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ; he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold; all things have become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17) They are no longer in fellowship with the kingdom of darkness; …”for what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:14) Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians concerning sins of lawlessness. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers. nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. BUT you were WASHED, but you were SANCTIFIED, but you were JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (I Corinthians 6:9-11)

The believer’s calling is the pursuit of holiness. He has the mind of Christ; not in its fullness, but in its potential. His adoption into the kingdom of God has birthed a hunger and thirst after righteousness. This alone is his desire. It satisfies his soul. It is the nature of the new birth. “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby.” (I Peter 2:2) God’s word is an antidote to sin. “Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11)  This is the spirit of sanctification.

In his work Grace and Glory, Geerhardus Vos writes of sanctification. “Through sanctification God’s holy character is impressed upon our souls so that not withstanding our imperfections, God takes a true delight in us, seeing that the inner man is changed from day to day after the likeness of Christ.  And the full meaning of the Lord’s promise we shall know in the last day, when He shall satisfy Himself in us by presenting us to God perfect in body, soul and spirit. Then shall come to pass the word that is written: They shall hunger no more, for we shall behold God’s face in righteousness and be satisfied when we awake with His image.”

I have noticed that many who profess to know Christ have no conviction about sanctification. When there is no desire or conviction for righteousness and godliness you will find multitudes with mental and physical problems. They have suppressed the will of God. They have abandoned the will of God. The stoop of sin has done its work. “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)

 Note what Paul writes to the Thessalonian saints. “For this is the WILL of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality: that each of you SHOULD KNOW how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles WHO DO NOT KNOW GOD. —- For God did not call us to uncleanness but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, BUT GOD, who has given us His Holy Spirit.” (I Thessalonians 4:3-8)

 Have you been out of the will of God? Could it be that your heart has become dull in your love of God? “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4) Have you left the fellowship of fellow believers in the church of which you were once a participant in the body of Christ. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the MANNER OF SOME, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25) Have you wavered in your faith? “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23) Repent of neglecting the will of God concerning your sanctification.   Pray that God will give you conviction for sanctification. Flee to a church who believes and preaches the Word of God. It will be a balm to your soul. The tormented mind that flourished in backsliding will be healed.  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (I Timothy 1:7)

Where the grace blows,